Bahrain has emerged as a key destination for fintech initiatives in the MENA region, and fintech companies in Bahrain are leveraging this to their success.
Bahrain has been especially progressive from the standpoint of open banking and digital currencies. For instance, it was the earliest in the Middle East to launch an open banking-led initiative, the Bahrain Open Banking Framework. The framework was launched in 2020.
The country also has plans to introduce a digital currency settlement pilot in partnership with JP Morgan and Bank ABC. The initiative looks to enable real time cross border payments via digital currency, and build next-gen payment and settlement infrastructure in Bahrain.
As Bahrain continues to be on the uptake with new fintech trends in the region, here are six fintech companies in Bahrain to keep an eye on.
Fintech companies in Bahrain
Founders: Joseph Dallago, AJ Nelson, Yehia Badawy, Abdullah Almoaiqel
Founding year: 2017
Rain is a licensed crypto platform and custodian with a presence across the Middle East region. The platform allows trading in currencies from most of the top GCC economies, as well as the US dollar. The company raised US$6 million during a Series A funding round from a group of investors, including Coinbase.
Apart from its Bahrain headquarters, Rain has satellite offices in Riyadh, Cairo, and San Francisco. Rain’s four-member founding team is split between the US and the Middle East.
Founder: Dina Sam’an
Founding year: 2019
CoinMENA is a Sharia-compliant digital asset trading platform. It is fully licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) as a digital asset operator. The company currently supports trading in local currencies in Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait. It also supports the US dollar.
CoinMENA recently raised US$9.5 million in its first seed funding round as the company looks to expand across the MENA region. The round was also one of the largest of its kind to have come out from the region this year.
Founder: Ashar Nazim
Founding year: 2017
Aion Digital is a fintech company that provides digital banking platforms for the banking and financial services industries. The company is a brand of Bahrain-based B2B2C fintech company Waqfe. It also runs the Bahrain-based open banking platform Spire.
The company’s products include digital onboarding, retail digital banking and corporate digital banking, amongst others. It also offers AI for Retail Banking, Open Banking and Lifestyle Rewards. Aion is currently working on five GCC-based digital banks, and also has 12 mandates across the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain in the pipeline.
Founding year: 2009
Sinnad is a CBB-regulated company that is licensed as an Ancillary Service Provider – Card Processing and Payment Service Provider. The company is a subsidiary of Bahrain Electronic Network for Financial Transactions (BENEFIT). Sinnad was acquired by BENEFIT in 2017.
Sinnad provides end-to-end card processing and electronic banking solutions to financial and non-financial institutions. The company provides banks with card issuing, ATM and merchant acquiring systems.
Eazy Financial Services
Founder: Nayef Tawfeeq Al Alawi
Founding year: 2016
Eazy is a CBB-regulated fintech company that provides a flagship Biometric Payment Network solution, which enables transactions based on biometrics. Its platform enables biometric transactions for cash withdrawals, in-store payments, in-branch customer experience, identification services, merchant loyalty programs & others.
Earlier this year, Easy also launched its EazyPay SoftPOS app for contactless payment transactions through a ‘Digital POS System’. Merchants can onboard themselves onto the app digitally to accept payments.
Founders: Andrew Sims
Founding year: 2014
Infinios is a CBB-regulated company licensed as an Ancillary Services Provider – Payment Services Provider and Card Processor. The company was previously known as NEC Payments, and provides digital banking and payment solutions.
More specifically, Infinios provides vertically integrated banking-as-a-service and embedded financial services solutions, including card issuing, payment acceptance, and APIs. The company infrastructure solutions are applicable to banks, other fintech companies, and businesses such as telcos.